Podcast: How to lobby at Holyrood, and other stories


Nicola Sturgeon in the USA, Donald T***p in Florida, MSPs at Holyrood. This week has been a routine one in politics, which led us to discuss the First Minister’s trip to the US, and the Scottish Parliament’s record in scrutinising the executive.

Maurice Smith

Joining podcast host Maurice Smith this week was regular contributor Steven Purcell — an independence supporter who’s been out canvassing for Labour in Glasgow — and experienced researcher and campaigner Robert McGeachy.

Robert has co-written with former MSP Mark Ballard a new book which advises groups on how to manage campaigns and lobby the Scottish Parliament and government. It’s aimed at public and private bodies as well as the third sector, and is aimed at being a “do it yourself” guide for organisations who can’t afford those slick lobbyists who are supposed to be getting put on a register by parliament sometime soon…

The Public Affairs Guide to Scotland: Influencing Policy and Legislation; Robert McGeachy & Mark Ballard; Welsh Academic Press £19.99.

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  1. From my one experience of committee work, the opposition MSPs were not interested in finding anything out. They were out to find sticks to beat SNP with and to score points with. I was just so utterly unimpressed.

    The Committee hearings were away from Holyrood but were designed to exclude the public in every way possible. The committee chair was a complete and total wuss.

  2. Interesting experience. I have a strong sense that the Parliament should take a long look at the way scrutiny works, especially the committee system. Strong scrutiny should result in better legislation and therefore better government.


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